Each month starting in January, we will share a blog post about the Volunteer of the Month featured in our JCC 2017 calendar, which is dedicated to the young adults who spend their time volunteering at the JCC to help us rebuild Jewish life in Krakow.
Where are you from?
I'm from a very small town in West Poland called Żagań.
Why did you decide to volunteer at the JCC?
I wanted to learn more about Jewish culture and thought I could only do that by reading books. When I came to the JCC I found out that I could be a volunteer and learn about Jewish life today by actually being involved with the Jewish community! I talk to the Survivors, people my age who just found out they are Jewish, and with visitors from around the world.
What is your best JCC memory/the person you met/the experience you had?
Every day is different. Every day gives you opportunity to meet new people and that's amazing. But I remember one special situation in 2015 when a man saw the sign outside the JCC, "Stop by and say hi" and so he did. After a short conversation about the JCC, I asked him how does he feel being in Krakow and if he likes it. He said yes, especially because his father is from Poland. We started to talk about his father and it turned out that he was Joseph Bialowitz, a son of Philip Bialowitz - one of the survivors from the uprising in the Sobibor camp. I couldn't believe that the son of a man that I've read so many books about was standing in front of me! I was amazed and surprised that this sign "Stop by and say hi" has that power and not only changed my life but continues to change the life of so many others.
What is one of your favourite things at the JCC?
I enjoy that you can be yourself and that you are surrounded by so many amazing people. Every of them are unique, beautiful, creative, and they support you no matter what. Being at the JCC I've learned how to love myself and how to share this love with others, how to be strong and never give up, and how to enjoy life - I'm very grateful for all of that.